In Europe wallpaper (called ‘painted paper‘) was a method used by less moneyed people to cover their walls without having to use expensive paneling or tapestry. By the 1700s wallpaper designs had become increasingly artistic and elaborate and became popular among the wealthy as well. Handmade wallpaper designs that were the most desirable were French and featured urns, garden foliage, and medallions became highly popular.
Handmade wallpaper came in a variety of other styles as well, including lightly patterned and embossed varieties to elaborate European and American landscapes that included the gamut of themes and styles. Today handmade wallpaper design is still an option for high-end finishes in a home and can include painted, embroidered, and gold leaf elements. With some panels taking between 30 and 300 hours to produce, it is an expensive design option but remains, as in the past, truly unique.